Mar 16, 2010

This is Ground Control to Major Tom

Loneliness and dashed hopes are the worst that could happen to a person or as Kurt Vonnegut would say about them- "Fates worse than Death". But then, Vonnegut is Vonnegut. When he is at his pessimistic,cynical & depressed best, he could have convinced you that even writing blogs or for that matter reading them are fates worse than death. "Life is no way to treat an animal" is what he wanted as his epitaph - you get the point. Ironically though, Slapstick, Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle, Bluebeard... are few of my favorite books and all of them are very funny.

I saw "Moon" again today. It's such a brilliant little film.In this movie about the Moon and cloning(ok, this is only a minor spoiler), I felt much sadder for Sam Bell( played by amazing Sam Rockwell) who is suffering from loneliness and dashed hopes than I felt for the whole of Na'vi civilization, or for Tom Hanks dying of Aids or for Tom Hanks on a failed mission or for Tom Hanks stranded on the island or for the retarded Tom Hanks - nothing against Tom Hanks. In short, Moon is a rare sci-fi classic. And it is directed by Duncan Jones(debut movie) who is son of the man who gave us the most memorable sci-fi song ever ( yes, there are sci-fi songs too!) . I am talking about David Bowie and his "Space Oddity" released in 1969 just days before the moon landing. I absolutely love the song and you can listen to it here .Going by "Moon" , Duncan Jones has a great career ahead of him - starting with the sequel to Moon!

The unique thing about sci-fi movies is that they have something out of the ordinary (as per the definition) , and hence more interesting and at the same time since it's science there is a "distinct" possibility of them being true/turning out to be true - quite often more believable than the crap they try to sell us in other "real-life" dramas. Sadly though, whenever someone talks about sci-fi movies all we can think of is people dressed up in funny costumes fighting with tube- lights, USA saving the world or Mila Jovovich kicking asses and killing people - not bad, but not good enough. But there have been few excellent sci-fi movies, there are at least 6 I can definitely vouch for , 6 movies which will take your breath away , 6 movies which everyone should, must, have to watch : 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future , Contact, Gattaca, Children of Men & Moon.

PS: In 1999-2000 , I probably would have included The Matrix in the above list but now I just feel like punching Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne whenever I see their faces in the movie and I feel like puking when I listen to dialogues like these:
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity:The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.

Mind-boggling Science Fiction 3

Me to my personal Artificially Intelligent buddy, Rocket:  Rocket, can you do this calculation for me. What's 7 + 4? Rocket: Dude, d...